Lightning pair to add power to Tornadoes

THE Launceston Tornadoes are promising to create a storm this SEABL season with the signing of WNBL Adelaide Lightning duo Nadeen Payne and Lauren Mansfield.

Mansfield will be returning for a second season with the Torns with Payne providing the forward power lacking from this year's line-up. 

Head coach Peta Sinclair said the pair came as a package and had a chemistry on court.

``We're very fortunate to have secured two quality players from the same WNBL club,'' she said.

``As we won't get much preseason time with them before our first game in March, it's an advantage to sign a combo that are familiar with each other's game. Lauren and Nadeen have that spark and chemistry that will ultimately add to our core group.

``The club were looking for more than just impressive players to boost their line-up this season. We were looking for players who were the right fit for our program, our team and the community. We already know Lauren has a great rapport with our core-playing group, works really hard on and off the court. She won the hearts of our fans in 2013, we know they'll all be pleased that she's coming home to play for us. 

``I have been fortunate to have worked with Nadeen while I was at the AIS and with the Townsville Fire. She is gutsy and physical on court and works really hard on the boards. Off court she's well known for her approachable, outgoing personality, so I knew she was the right fit for our club.''

Even at 20, Payne has more than three years' experience in WNBL for both Adelaide and her native Townsville, played for Australia at the 2010 under-17 and 2011 under-19 world championships and is a former AIS scholarship holder. 

She said she was excited to play her first SEABL season with the Tornadoes as a guard. 

``I am really looking forward to continuing to play with Lauren too,'' she said. ``Lauren had nothing but great things to say about Launceston and the Tornadoes program.''

Mansfield, 24 is equally thrilled.

``Our playing group worked so hard last year and I know that Nadeen is just the boost we need. I am looking forward to seeing everyone again,'' she said.

Mansfield is exploring her options to continue her studies in Launceston and hopes to use her undergraduate degree in media and advertising to assist the club. 

The Torns will be looking to the pair to form a strong offensive and defensive combination complementing young locals such as Olivia Howard and Emma Russell.

Chairwoman Janie Finlay praised community support for providing the flexibility to recruit the players.

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